Two years after the finale of the 2012 anime K-Project, writer GoRA surprised fans by releasing a movie sequel entitled K: Missing Kings in 2014. Due to the anime’s ambiguous ending and loose ends, fans were looking forward to the movie in hopes of finding answers to some important questions regarding the series’ ending and its beloved characters. The much anticipated sequel was able to answer those questions and more.
K: Missing Kings takes place almost a year after the events of the first season. The first half of the movie focuses on the aftermath of the death of the Colorless King and the Red King, and the disappearance of the Silver King, thus the title ‘Missing Kings.’ Throughout the movie we will see the disbanding of the Red Clan, the Silver Clan’s search for their King and the emergence of the Green Clan. The movie ends with the awakening of the of the new Red King, the revelation of the Silver King’s location and arrows pointing to a second season of the anime.
Props to the movie’s animators. They brought back the stunning visuals of the anime to the movie and made it even better. The backdrops show an amazing attention for detail that made the characters’ interaction with the setting seem more genuine and made the viewers feel as if those places actually exist in real life. Probably the most noticeable animation style in the K series is the use of lights and colors. The lights don’t just serve for aesthetics, but for symbolism as well. For instance, the red flickers in Yata Misaki’s eyes that show his loyalty to the Red Clan and the blue patterns reflected in Munakata Reisi’s glasses during a scene centered around the Blue Clan. The sudden appearance of green lights in some of the scenes also pertains to the awakening Green Clan.
The voice actors from the original series reprised their roles in the movie. The most notable performance was during Anna’s dream sequence. Anna’s voice actress, Yui Horie did an excellent job portraying Anna’s emotions despite the nonchalant expression her character always wears. In that same scene Mikoto Suoh’s voice actor, Tsuda Kenjirou only had around three lines yet he was able to bring a certain softness to the scene that made it the most tear-jerking moment of the movie. The background music only made it better. K seems to have two types of music- melancholic instrumental music and fast-paced battle music. The piano music is the one most often used in the movie due to the plot centering around the tragic events of the first season. K is certainly not the first anime to use instrumental music as background, but the way it was used and the scenes it was used in really made you want to cry as the events unfold. As for the battle music I have mixed feelings about it. It’s difficult to gauge the genre it belongs to. There are also times when the instrumental music is used during battle scenes. Confusing as it is, I have to admit the transition between the soft instrumental and the engaging battle music really made you pay attention to every scene.
In order to fully immerse yourself into the movie, you would have to watch K-Project first since it closely follows the anime’s plotline. Given that the movie is only 70 minutes long the pacing wasn’t very good. The first half of the movie was just a rewind to the events of the anime. Thus, the second half was rushed in order to resolve the issues the season finale left. The side-plots such as the Blue Clan’s takeover of the Gold Clan and Yukari and Kuroh’s history made it impossible to really focus on the main plot which is Anna’s kidnapping. However, if one were to play close attention to these side-plots they gave a hint at a possibility of having a second season. These hints turned out to be correct when the second season of K entitled K: Return of Kings was released on October 2015 and set to be finished this December 26, 2015.
Another hint that pointed out to the possibility of a second season was the new characters, namely the Green Clan. The only Green Clan member introduced was Yukari Mishakuji while the other members made a short appearance at the ending. However, since Yukari was the only one who made the appearance there was no primary antagonist or a big final battle. Even if the entire Green Clan was introduced the movie would have been longer which is probably why GoRA simply extended the plotline to the second season.
Overall, K: Missing Kings is a must watch for anyone who’s a fan of the series. I wouldn’t say it’s the best or worst movie ever. It had questionable moments that made your head spin, but also wonderful moments that made you glad to be part of the fandom. The best way to sum up my feelings for the movie is that I’m satisfied. Kudos to GoRA and studio GoHands for making a movie that reaffirms your love for the K series, especially in light of the upcoming movie K Seven Stories in April.